Curbing the appetite for lion meat

We are pleased to announce another small but meaningful victory for African lions!

Last week, Taco Fusion, the controversial Florida-based restaurant which served lion meat tacos, closed its doors for what may be the final time.

The owner blamed the restaurant’s failure on a series of unfortunate instances, refusing to accept that it was their choice in bold menu options that contributed to the restaurant’s fate.

After ignoring backlash from mainstream and social media, the restaurant defiantly kept the notorious lion taco on their menu, determined not to give in to public outcry.

However, for a restaurant whose business model was based entirely on offering “exotic” meats, the message has been loud and clear from the beginning: there is no appetite in the marketplace for lion meat.

A recent Synovate poll found that 63 percent of Americans would no longer frequent an establishment if it served lion meat—a fact Taco Fusion should have heeded before offering it on the menu.

Furthermore, lions are deeply imperiled. Over the past three decades, populations of African lions have declined by more than 50 percent with as few as 32,000 remaining in the wild. A petition is currently under review by the U.S. government to list the African lion as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The listing would have huge implications for the protection of the species, including deeming it illegal for vendors and restaurant to sell and serve lion meat in the U.S.

We hope that the U.S. government acts swiftly in making a decision to protect lions; however in the meantime, we also hope that the closing of Taco Fusion serves as a call to other culinary institutions and vendors that no one is hungry for lion meat.  


For more information about our efforts to protect the African lion, visit our campaign page.

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
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Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
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Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
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Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime